Barnstable County Provides Contact Tracing Update

BARNSTABLE – The Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment recently updated the public on coronavirus-related contact tracing within Barnstable County.

Deidre Arvidson, the county’s public health nurse, said that while generally helpful, there have been some bumps in the road when it comes to statewide assistance with contact tracing.

Nurses and other health officials in charge of contact tracing, Arvidson said, can reach out to state affiliate organizations for help with tracing contacts of those who test positive for COVID-19.

While it has been helpful for many larger towns, Arvidson said that the system is not yet perfect.

“Unfortunately, the state put together these groups without really having public health nurses at the table to help guide this,” Arvidson explained.

“So now, they’re backtracking.”

Specifically, Arvidson said nurses can often be overwhelmed by the amount of people that need to be traced. Instead of having nearly 20 people tracers that need to be reached out to, Arvidson said that limits are being considered in order to make operations more efficient and to remove any “glitches.”

Arvidson assured people who are contacted that medical professionals will point them in the right direction for their next steps.

“If you’re determined to be a close contact of a positive case, then you would automatically be in a 14 day quarantine at home,” she said.

Those who are contacted could also get tested for the novel coronavirus, but a quarantine period would still be required even with a negative test result.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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